Active Or Passive Voice In Essays

The active voice refers to a sentence format that emphasizes the doer of an action.

For example, in the sentence “The mice inhaled the tobacco-infused aerosol,” the doer, i.e., “the mice” seem important.

If you write keeping this in mind, no journal reviewer will need to give you feedback about the active and passive voice.

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According to Ding (1998), in writing, the world should essentially be represented “in terms of objects, things, and materials.” Passive voice can obscure agents and readers can lose sight of the relevance of a prose that is dominated by things and objects.

However, in the art of writing, polarized views often become irrelevant and a balance must be achieved by using the two voices contextually.

In the Methods section, it is satisfactory to break the dullness of numerous passive voice sentences with the usage of the active voice.

A response on Quora (John Geare, 2015) sums up the required balance in a succinct manner: My colleagues A, B, [names changed] and I, designed an experiment to test the impact on worker perceptions of well-being when domesticated cats were allowed to freely roam various work environments in which the subjects were normally employed.

Active voice is used for most non-scientific writing.

Using active voice for the majority of your sentences makes your meaning clear for readers, and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy.


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